Ever had trouble getting a campfire started? Our DIY fire starters can help!

DIY fire starters made with toilet paper rolls, cotton balls and some other household items

I've been making these for our fireplace and campside bonfires for quite awhile. After several iterations, we've found one that burns for over 10 minutes and can keep a strong flame even in the roughest conditions. They come together quick and easy, and just require a few simple supplies that you probably already have at home.

DIY fire starters made with toilet paper rolls, cotton balls and some other household items

Gather up some cotton balls, a bit of rubbing alcohol, toilet paper tubes (you know how much we love our toilet paper tubes!), twine and wax (we usually use regular old leftover candle wax).

DIY fire starters made with toilet paper rolls, cotton balls and some other household items

Cut the toilet paper tubes in half.

DIY fire starters made with toilet paper rolls, cotton balls and some other household items

Fold one end in on itself a bit.

DIY fire starters made with toilet paper rolls, cotton balls and some other household items

Fill it with a couple of rubbing alcohol-soaked cotton balls.

DIY fire starters made with toilet paper rolls, cotton balls and some other household items

And then fold the other end in on itself.

DIY fire starters made with toilet paper rolls, cotton balls and some other household items

Tie it closed with a bit of twine, knotting and leaving a bit on the end as a wick for your DIY fire starters.

Melting wax for DIY fire starters

Melt the wax in a small pot slowly, over a low flame.

DIY fire starters made with toilet paper rolls, cotton balls and some other household items

Dip each fire starter into the wax and set it onto some parchment paper to dry.

DIY fire starters made with toilet paper rolls, cotton balls and some other household items

This helps waterproof the DIY fire starters and seal the cotton balls in there so the rubbing alcohol doesn't evaporate.

DIY fire starters made with toilet paper rolls, cotton balls and some other household items

You can store these indefinitely, just like candles. Take them along camping and get ready to burn the midnight oil.

We're taking these on our trip later this week, heading through Flagstaff and up to the Grand Canyon and Utah on a multi-generational trek starting with Overland Expo West. If you're the adventuring sort and you live on the west coast, nab some tickets and come meet us at our booth! We'll be sharing lots of tips about getting started in the world of family adventure.

Pin these DIY fire starters for later, and tell us about any of your favorite camping hacks!